I headed out of the day-care to the NERFA small, one-day folk community gathering in Chatham, NJ, about 35 miles from my morning gig. The event was in progress when I arrived and met some of the players and promoters in the hallways.


I’ve been distant from the organization for a while, mostly because of moving to CT, little money to spend and very little booking response from my showcases. This was close enough and, even though I was not selected for the showcase, I decided to at least check it out and see if I could me new folks.


I hit the radio programmers’ workshop with Erik Balkey, a friend from the circuit, and Ron Olesko, a folk programmer I’ve noticed on FB. I got to add a few comments. It made me realize I should be on some of these panels.


I took in the second workshop Hot on the Griddle, an exercise of three panelists listening to the first 60 seconds of a selected cut. They then gave critiques on radio and venue bookings. Some frank talk as well as some pep talk, too.


I submitted Giants for the 60 second test and it was cool to watch the judges’ faces open up in wonder. Chuckles from the audience, and the trombone made it in on time, along with the great percussion and back up vocals.


The judges loved it, one saying that the band was on his bucket list to hear live, the radio man said he’d play it, for sure. The third said it was in the Cat Came Back mode but rose above it. It was cool to have my 60 seconds of fame at the event, and I gained some notoriety for it.


Several folk from the NJ folk scene came up and said some nice things about Godfrey’s, “The quintessential folk club.” I also picked up some leads on some kids’ music gigs at the Folk Project.


I gave away a bunch of CD’s at the end and several folks, teachers thanked be for giving them away. A good visit.